Learning & Development
2 minute read

Do or die: why retailers need a great learning platform to survive

With the recent collapse of two more household names, Maplin and Toys R Us, UK retailers are facing an existential crisis…..

 Lack of investment in training is widespread despite a Wharton study concluded that trained retail sales reps sold 46 per cent more than those untrained. The right learning technology can save time and costs as well as increase shopper yield.

With so much information available online, lower costs and speed of delivery consumers have switched allegiance from the human interaction of a high street store. The response has often been to cut cost and with that reduced investment in sales training.

In a Wharton University study of 300,000 sales reps at 330 stores over a three-year period they showed that those sales reps who volunteered for training sold on average 46 per cent more than those who didn’t. Even accounting for the bias of natural capability in those who volunteered (naturally more enthusiastic) the figure was 23 per cent higher.

So how much training is needed?

Well you may say training may help but what about the time and cost? And what about the lost time actually selling? Well the research showed that just one hour of training led to an increase in sales per hour of 5 per cent.

But the point of the research was also to say that it was the knowledge about the different products that mattered most. It was less about the ability to persuade a person to buy something they wouldn’t have.

And here’s the crunch. To deliver that kind of training you don’t need your sales reps out of the store on sales training days you can deliver what they need via their tablet or smart phone.

How the right learning platform delivers such great ROI

Very often to deliver classroom-based sales training retailers face the double whammy of lost time on the shop floor selling as well as the cost of travel and the training itself. Not only does the store lose sales time but assuming the sales reps are on commission the good ones will resent the lost opportunity to make more money.

Assuming you have a learning platform that is intuitive and engaging to use as the applications your sales team are used to in the home life you should be able to deliver huge returns at very low per head cost.

Read my next blog here when I delve into the comparative costs in more detail.

Source: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/why-training-your-employees-will-increase-sales/